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Optical components

Picolight Preps Parallel Push

Picolight Inc. is suddenly tossing off new products like a burst piñata, and apparently the party isn't done yet, as the company readies 1310nm transmitter/receiver arrays.

Just this week, Picolight announced the OEngine family of subcomponents, piece-parts used in optical transmitters and receivers. Picolight also celebrated shipments of a transceiver based on a 1310nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs), although it's said the VCSELs in that case are based on another company's technology (see PicoLight Debuts Laser Family and Picolight Ships 1310nm VCSELs).

But wait, there's more! Vice president of marketing Warner Andrews says Picolight will be announcing parallel receiver arrays for the 1310nm spectrum in a week or two.

Details are scarce, but the idea probably involves packing multiple receivers into one integrated device. Integration usually yields benefits such as smaller size and lower power consumption, which in turn allows for higher-density systems.

Receiver arrays would be useful in a variety of "listening" applications, such as multiwavelength performance monitoring, Anders says.

What about corresponding transmitter arrays? It's been done aplenty at 850nm, with 12-channel VCSEL arrays having been produced by Picolight -- as well as Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), Corona Optical Systems Inc., Emcore Corp. (Nasdaq: EMKR), Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: IFX), and Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE/Toronto: ZL), to name a few. You've also got TeraConnect Inc. and Xanoptix Inc. integrating multiple dozens of VCSELs, although TeraConnect appears to have called it quits (see TeraConnect Inc. and Xanoptix's Strange Story).

But for 1310nm, Picolight is content to offer its receiver array first, with VCSEL integration to come later. "Array transmitters, that's something that will probably come online in 2004," Andrews says.

One company that already produced 1310nm VCSEL arrays was Cielo Communications, which was acquired by Optical Communication Products Inc. (OCPI) (Nasdaq: OCPI) last year (see Cielo Announces VCSEL Modules and OCPI Acquires Cielo). OCPI, which seems to have activated the Cone of Silence since the acquisition, hasn't publicly announced its plans for that product line.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 11:37:31 PM
re: Picolight Preps Parallel Push A lot of companies making VCSEL or related components have closed down. Many of the companies could not devlop the market. Others dropped out of business> Picolight would have difficult time in competing because of its start-up mature. If I can find one of the telecom equipment vendor, its business prospects would increase.

VCSEL deployment has not yet started on a mass scale.
redface 12/4/2012 | 11:37:07 PM
re: Picolight Preps Parallel Push "Vice president of marketing Warner Andrews says Picolight will be announcing parallel receiver arrays for the 1310nm spectrum in a week or two. Details are scarce, but the idea probably involves packing receivers of slightly different wavelengths into one integrated device."

Why "slightly different wavelengths"? We are not talking about WDM here. In parallel optics, all components are identical, including detectors here.
fiberlight 12/4/2012 | 11:36:07 PM
re: Picolight Preps Parallel Push Are parallel optics really in demand?

The Teraconnect website is in stasis and I assume that the company is likewise.

Any word on their evil cousin Xanoptix?
Pete Baldwin 12/4/2012 | 11:36:05 PM
re: Picolight Preps Parallel Push Why "slightly different wavelengths"? We are not talking about WDM here. In parallel optics, all components are identical, including detectors here.

Yep, you're right -- mental crosstalk on my part. I'll put in a correction, and thanks for pointing it out.
Pete Baldwin 12/4/2012 | 11:36:04 PM
re: Picolight Preps Parallel Push The Teraconnect website is in stasis and I assume that the company is likewise.

Updating the TeraConnect reference in the story: It turns out they're in hibernation mode, with only one full-time employee remaining. They don't plan to completely shut down. I'll be doing an update on them soon.

Xanoptix is still kicking, and they claim to be doing OK. You probably found it by now, but here's last month's story about their ambitions to sell foundry services:

http://www.lightreading.com/do...
fiberlight 12/4/2012 | 11:36:01 PM
re: Picolight Preps Parallel Push I look forward to the update.

Hibernation implies that there will be a time of reawakening. With only one full-time employee remaining it doesn't sound like they plan any major product launches.

I wonder if the last man standing at TeraConnect is a lawyer. Given that TeraConnect and Xanoptix were both spawned from the Lockheed-Sanders IP pool, it is not inconceivable that TeraConnect might have blocking patents that could throw a wrench in Xanoptix plan to become a foundry.

Could this be the continuation of "Xanoptix's Strange Story"?
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